In this section learn more about the history of the course and its hometown, see a selection of historic and current images of the course, learn about what the course is like today, and discover nearby historic sites.
The Dubsdread Golf Course is located in the City of Orlando in Orange County. Carl Dann Sr., was one of Orlando’s prominent builders and an avid golfer. Born in Orlando in 1885, Dann was reported to have been a caddie at Orlando’s first golf course which was built around Lake Eola. By the mid-1920s, Dann’s real estate management business was one of the largest in the area. In 1923 he began developing and promoting the Golf View Heights subdivision which included the Dubsdread golf course. Dann’s new subdivision had streets with golf-themed names such as Brassie Drive, Niblick Way, and Bunker Place, to name a few.
Golf course architect Thomas Bendelow of Chicago, one of the foremost golf course designers in the United States, was hired to design the course. Bendelow designed a number of golf courses in Florida. Some of them, including Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, a Florida Historic Golf Trail partner course. still exists today. A.C. Hart of Orlando was enlisted as the construction engineer and tasked to build the course according to Bendelow’s plans. Hart worked on other Bendelow designed courses including the West Orange Country Club near Oakland and the Country Club of Orlando. Many of the greens at Dubsdread were patterned after famous courses. It was reported that Dann would return from trips with plastic models of some of the famous East Coast greens. In fact, the 14th green was said to be a replica of the 13th green of the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.
The golf course opened on December 7, 1924, with Carl Dann and Dave Rogers (Dubsdread president) teeing off first. Dubsdread derives its name from the intent of instilling dread in “dubs,” or novice golfers.
In the later 1940s, while attending Rollins College in Wither Park, World Golf Hall of Fame's Pete Dye was a regular on the Dubsdread course. Dye said "I wasn't the greatest student there, but I met my bride there and played some good golf." Dye was captain of the Rollins golf team and met his future wife, Alice O'Neal, who played on the women’s golf team.
Along with many other well-known golfers, Patty Berg, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Babe Zaharias played Dubsdread in the '40s and '50s, and the course hosted the Orlando Open from 1945-47. In the final round of the inaugural Orlando Open in 1945, Ben Hogan shot a four-under-par 67 for a four round total of 270. Hogan provided a lot of excitement for the gallery of over 5,000 on the 471-yard par five fourth hole after reaching the green in two shots and sinking a 20 footer for eagle three. Again on the 505 par five, eighteenth hole he displayed some spectacular shot-making ability when he hit his second shot over the green and then came back with a pitch shot to within two feet of the cup. sinking the putt for a birdie four.
The Dann family owned the Dubsdread Golf Course until the City of Orlando purchased it in 1978. In March 2007, the course closed for 16 months to undergo an extensive renovation, during which all 18 holes were updated. A new 5th hole was created and holes 8 and 9 where combined to become the new 9th. The renovated Dubsdread reopened on July 10, 2008.
The 18-hole, par-70 Dubsdread Golf Course features five sets of tees playing from 4,100 to 6,100 yards. Located five minutes from Downtown Orlando, players of all skill levels are challenged with the narrow fairways and heavily bunkered “postage stamp” style greens. Dubsdread is promoted as, “ A course everyone can play at a price anyone can pay.”
Professional golfer and former Dubsdread pro, Ky Laffoon, was noted for his much-admired swing and his temper. Laffoon won 12 professional tournaments in his career. His best season on tour was 1934 where he played in 22 events and won four of them. He placed second on the money list earning $6,419.22 that year. The following year, the 26-year-old was selected to play for the winning United States team in the 1935 Ryder Cup matches against the team from Great Britain. In September 1936, Carl Dann announced that Laffoon would become the club professional at Dubsdread Golf Course.
There are many legends about Laffoon and his temper on the golf course. One such tale is that after three-putting the 18th hole at Dubsdread, Laffoon ran to his car, pulled a gun out of the trunk, and shot the offending club three times. Laffoon was reported to have shouted, ''That's the last time you'll three-putt on me!'' He then gathered up the pieces of the club and buried them in a sand trap by the 18th green.
Lake Eola Park – Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park began in 1883, when Jacob Summerlin and his family donated a strip of their land around the lake for public use. In 1899, the city’s first golf course was located on the shores of Lake Eola. The course had six holes which crisscrossed over ditches, roads and even over each other.
In 1922 the first swans were introduced to Lake Eola by an Englishman who was raising multiple breeds. The Lake is now home to various species of swans including: Trumpeter Swans, Black Neck Swans, Whooper Swans, Royal Mute Swans and Australian Black Swans.
Today, the sidewalk that circles the lake is .9 miles in length, making it easy for visitors to keep track of their walking or running distances. Other available park activities include renting the iconic swan-shaped paddle boats, feeding the live swans and other birds inhabiting the park, seeing a concert or a play in the Walt Disney Amphitheater, grabbing a bite to eat or relaxing amid beautiful flower beds and enjoying a spectacular view of the Orlando skyline. Visit Lake Eola Park for more details.
549 West Par Street
Orlando, Florida 32804
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